Monday, April 29, 2013

Review! Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara

Today I'm going to talk about Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara.  Tarte says this is "A lengthening, curling, volumizing, and conditioning mascara infused with olive esters to condition, treat, and protect lashes."  It is not waterproof.

And, after!
This is the first mascara I've tried since Clinique's, that I've liked.  It wore really well, and washed off easily.  The remaining residue came off quickly with some almond oil on a cotton round.  It did not pull out any of my lashes when washing off (or any other time).  I like how it added volume without getting clumpy, and looked dramatic without looking overdone.

This mascara will get another round of trials once I've finished round one.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lip Swatch! - Wet n Wild Megalast Matte Lipstick - 966 - Don't Blink Pink

I swatched out 13 more Wet n Wild Megalast Lipsticks here.   Today is 966 - Don't Blink Pink!

This is an ULTRA bright hot pink color.  It looks a bit scary, but everyone that I have seen wearing it looks great!  You can sheer it out by putting a good layer of lip balm underneath it, like I did.  If you wear it without much lipbalm, prepare for it to be very, very, VERY intense... Intense, but amazing.  Seriously, I cannot recommend this color enough for Spring and Summer.  I don't have any color like it in my collection.  It is a cool-red-leaning-neutral, but it does it without going into fuchsia tones.  I think just about anyone could wear this, just be brave!

First, bare lips.  I prepped them with a thin application of Lansinoh.
Now, a thin layer, applied from the tube, in a single swipe.  I left half of my lips bare for comparison.
Now for what I would call full strength.  I applied directly from the tube.  Keep in mind that this is a matte formula, but it does go on creamy.  If you put some lip balm on your lips before applying it, the formula will remain a satin finish.  If you apply the lipstick without any balm, the finish will look matte, but will feel satin on your lips.  This color does intensify with a second coat. 
Next is full lip.  I applied directly from the tube to the bare side, and I put on about 2 coats.  This lipstick is very opaque when applied directly from the tube.  
Full face:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review! Boots No. 7 Lip Glace in Angel Cake

Today I wanted to show you Boots No. 7 Lip Glace in Angel Cake.
It is a peach champagne color, with subtle holographic sparkles.  I was trying out a bold eye color, and I wanted something that would balance the look, without adding more color.

Bare lip:

With lipliner (Revlon Colorstay Lipliner in Sheer Blush - I think it's discontinued but you can still find it online by googling for it.  It matches my lip exactly.)

With Angel Cake:

Full face:
Between the Dutch-braid-faux-hawk and the green eyeshadow, there was a lot going on with my look that day.  This gloss complimented everything perfectly, and the holographic shimmer ensured that the sparkles matched all the colors in the eyeshadow - even the green!

Like most lip glosses, it didn't wear very long.  It wore for about an hour or so before wearing off.  I've found that stickiness and wear time have a direct correlation, and this one was no different.  It wasn't very sticky, but it was more sticky than a lip balm.

This lip gloss smells exactly like yellow cake batter, and it is very strongly scented.  It is not flavored, however.  That scent is the one thing I don't like about the gloss.  It is weird to have something smell that strongly and it not have a taste to it.  I would prefer it to either not have a smell, or for it to be flavored.  Otherwise, I really liked it!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Review! Sonia Kashuk Smokey Eye Brush Set

I needed a new deer-foot brush (the #2 crease brush in this set), and I first looked at some really high-end brushes.  After nearly choking to death on the price tag, I went to go see what was new at Target!  I have several Sonia Kashuk brushes, so I knew they would be soft and long-lasting.  They were sold out of just the deer-foot brush at my local Target, and then I noticed that this set included one.  I felt the brushes they had on display; they are SO soft!  The real test is brushing them on your face, but I'm not going to do that with a display brush.  This set is currently priced at just under $15, so I went ahead and bought the set.
It comes with four brushes, the #1 Lid Brush, #2 Crease Brush, #3 Lash Line, and a #4 Smudge brush.

#1 is a wide and shallow domed brush, and is really good at picking up a lot of shadow at once.

#2 is the flat-topped angled crease brush (what I call a deer-foot), and I love these brushes for both all-over color application, and for blending.

#3 is a smaller version of #2, and is intended for use on the lash line.  It does a fine job at that, and I really like it to blend just at the point where colors meet.  A bigger brush can blend the colors too much and make things muddy.

#4 is the smudge brush, and it will smudge out the entire lash line at once.  I'm not sure how I feel about that, yet.  It does work, but because it is so big, I think it takes away some of the control over thickness.  I really like it for applying contouring powder to my face, though.  It is perfect for getting a straight line down the sides of my nose, and for accenting the hollows of my cheeks.

The case is decent, but it is certainly not the item you are paying for.  It would be good for travel, but for everyday storage, my brushes are kept loose so they can dry out between uses.  Also, note the size of the kit compared to my fingers.  These brushes' handles are travel-sized.  I prefer a longer handle, but the length of these is long enough for balance and control.  I don't mind the size, but if you order these online I don't want you to be surprised at it!

Overall, I am very happy with this purchase, as I expected to be.   My other Sonia Kashuk brushes have lasted a few years now, and are still holding up well.  I expect these to do the same.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Review! Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box

Urban Decay's Deluxe Shadow Box is currently on sale for $16 at the Urban Decay website, where I picked up mine.  I think this is a GREAT price for this many shadows; it's cheaper than a drugstore brand at this price!  I've been wanting to try out this brand for a long time, so I went a little bit crazy and bought several of their palettes.  I'm trying out this one first, because Spring is just around the corner, and this one has lots of bright colors!
The package is a magnetized, suede covered, cardboard box.  The shiny stuff on the front is a metal mesh that slinks around a little bit.  I am not a fan of cardboard/paper containers.  I would like this a lot more if the box were metal or plastic.  The eyeshadows are in metal pans.

It comes with a little tube of Primer Potion, two sponge applicators, and nine eyeshadows.  

As for the sponge applicators, I'll probably never use them.  I use brushes for my eyeshadow, and haven't used a sponge since I learned how to use brushes.  Besides that, they would just make the palette messy, and the space for them isn't wide enough for them to lay side by side so they would touch each other, muddying up the colors.  I suppose it would make sense to wash them after each application, but then they'd never be in the box anyway (use, then wash, then leave out to air dry... would you really put them back in the box at night, or just leave them out on their drying spot?).

I would have rather gotten a larger primer potion with a deeper well to store it within the palette.  The little primer potion bottle they give with it doesn't fit in the palette anywhere.
And, here they are swatched:
Aren't the colors pretty?  I almost didn't get this palette because of the blue, and to a lesser extent, the green.  I don't ever wear those colors.  Then, I thought, you silly goose, surely some of your lovely readers wear those colors, so let's live a little and try something different!

But, I still didn't try those two right away.  Old fears die hard, I suppose, and I've never previously managed to get blue or green to look right... or maybe it just didn't feel comfortable... but in any case, it was new territory.  

So first, I tried out a smokey pink and purple eye, and I only used shadows contained within the palette.  The colors went on smoothly, but I noticed that they went on better if I loaded up my brush and put down one thick layer, rather than trying to build the color up.  There was very little fallout, even with the brush loaded with shadow.

I used Scratch above the crease to the eyebrow, Fishnet at the inner corner, then lightly blend where they meet.  Next, put Ransom in the center lid and lightly blend it where it meets Fishnet.  I used the same brush without cleaning it at these steps.  Using a different brush, put Zero on the outer corner and lower lash line.  I also put down a thin line of Urban Decay's 24/7 Eyeliner pencil in Zero on the top lashline.  Then use that brush to blend the eyeshadow Zero in a sideways V-shape until it is smoked, then start blending where it meets Ransom.  Finally, using the brush that you blended Zero into Ransom, smudge out the lower lashline.  The Ransom in the brush from blending the lid will give just a hint of purple at the lower lash line.  Make sure to smudge the entire lower lid, gently fading the color out.  To do that, concentrate on smudging the lash line, and just occasionally sweep the brush lower.  You can sweep once, see how dark it became, and then sweep again.  Honey was used in the inner corner area to brighten the look up.  I think it ended up looking like a soft tropical sunset.



Well, that's four colors left of the nine to try, so I tried out a look emphasizing this Spring's trend color, green.  In this case, Graffiti.  Like I said earlier, I've never really worn a lot of green eyeshadow.  I tried it back when I first started wearing purple, and it just didn't look right to me.  I looked at the colors in the palette that were left, and realized that they follow my eye coloration.  At my pupil, my eyes are a pure hazel, then there is a ring of yellow, and then it goes to a green/blue/grey with occasional deep hazel spots.  So, leaving out the spots part, I decided to do browns at the inner corner, fading out to green over a layer of blue, fading to pure green, with a pat of yellow in the center of each eyelid.

To be more specific, I used Shag in a wide sideways W, from under the brow, to the crease, to the lash line.  Then I filled in the spaces between with Underground.  After that I did a slight V from the crease, pointing to the outer corner, and slanting back to the lashline, with Peace.  Finally, I put Graffiti at the outer corner and lower lashline.  Then I started blending Shag and Underground together, swooping the color to the inner corner and to the mid-lower lashline, under Graffiti at the lower lashline, fading to the outer edge with whatever was left on the brush.  Then I slightly blended Peace to Underground, then blended Graffiti to Peace until very blended, occasionally swooping along the lower lashline where I had previously applied Graffiti.  Finally, I used my finger to add a pat of Honey to the center of the upper lid.

I did use a pure white, ultra-shimmery eyeshadow at my inner crease and brow-bone.  The colors were looking very Autumn-like, instead of Spring-like, so I felt it needed more light brought to the look.  There isn't a white or otherwise light highlighting color in the palette, other than Honey, so I had to use an eyeshadow out of my collection.

The colors stayed bright and true all day, and as the day went on, I became more accustomed to seeing green on myself, and started to like it.  It certainly catches attention, so be prepared for commentary, although the comments I received were positive.  It did make me a bit self-conscious to get comments about it, but I think it's just an unusual look for where I live.

To sum up, I really like this palette.  I think it is a good, and cheap, introduction to their eyeshadows.  You get four bright colors, and four more conservative shades, so it's not a one-trick-pony kind of purchase.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review! Boscia's MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil

I  got a little sample of Boscia's MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil from my local Sephora.  I hadn't asked for it, but I'm not one to turn down a cosmetics sample, so here we go!  Here is what I got:
Inside that little bag is a tiny pot filled with the cleanser.  As you may know, I use almond oil to cleanse my face, so this was really more of a test of how Boscia's formula measured up to my current routine.

Currently, I wipe my face off with a wet washcloth until my face looks fairly clean, then apply almond oil all over.  After a few moments of massaging it around, I wipe the oil off with a clean washcloth, and then use a bit more oil on cotton rounds to get my eye makeup off.  Finally, I apply just a little more oil to my skin to moisturize it, and I'm done.  Since using almond oil to wash my face, I have had a significant decrease in pore size, blackheads, and blemishes.  

I still use other facial washes, such as facial scrubs and Fresh Soy Cleanser, but I use those about twice a week, and then follow it with the almond oil routine.

To use the Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil, start with a dry, unwashed face.  Using a small amount (I read "one pump" was the amount to use, so I guessed since I didn't have a pump), massage the oil onto your face.  Then you wash the oil away with warm water and you are done!  Is it that easy?  Well, yes, it is.  

I massaged it around, and then washed my fingers off, and added water to the mix (to see what would happen... it turns milky looking), and then wiped the rest of it off with a wet washcloth (I hate splashing water on my face at a sink).  I was very cautious to use it around my eyes, because it contains menthol and eucalyptus oil, which will burn if you get it in your eyes.  So, a bit of the cleanser made it onto my eyelids from the washcloth, and it washed the eyeshadow right off.  However, because I didn't get much on there, I still had to clean up with my regular almond oil.

My skin was left very clean, and just a bit dry and tight feeling.  I moisturized with my almond oil, and that feeling went away.  So you probably don't need to worry about it feeling oily.

So, the surface result, is both methods pretty much work the same.  I have to be more careful that the Boscia doesn't get into my eyes; and using plain almond oil takes a bit more time than the Boscia.

It would seem that Boscia would at least tie with almond oil for my preferences, but it doesn't.  Why?  

Because here is what is in my almond oil:
Refined Expeller Pressed Almond Oil

And here is what is in Boscia's Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil:
Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Polyglyceryl-10 Diisostearate, Polyglyceryl-20 Hexacaprylate, Glyceryl Behenate/Eicosadioate, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Leaf Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Dextrin Palmitate, Menthol, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Copper Chlorophyll, Water/Aqua/Eau, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder, Butylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Dipalmitate

I had to look that stuff up, and as I did, I realized it would take a really long time to explain what all of that is, so I'll leave it at this; I can get my almond oil for about $6 for 8 ounces, and the Boscia currently costs $28 for 5 ounces. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Review! Skin79 Super BB Cream (Hot Pink)

I have been testing many Asian BB Creams, and my most recent trial has been of Skin79's Super BB Cream (Hot Pink).  I found that this cream is less pigmented than the other BB creams I have tried.  A pea-sized dot gave sheer coverage, and with other creams I have tried, that same amount would have been medium coverage.

I applied the cream in dots over my face, and then blended with a stippling brush.

Here I am before:
Dot the cream all over:

I set the cream with loose powder, and checked it occasionally to see how it wore.  It stayed in place, and it didn't fade over the course of the day.  It didn't cause any breakouts.  I didn't notice any whitening, but my complexion does look more even.  It performed the same every day I wore it, so I don't have a day-to-day account of my experience; you would just read the same paragraph above over and over.

My overall feelings about this cream were neutral, leaning towards liking it.  It wore well, and looked nice.  I don't like it enough to put it through another round of testing, but I liked it well enough to use the entire sample-sized tube.

After the first day that I have pictured above, I mixed it with moisturizer and primer before applying it, and then rubbed it into my skin.  I used more of it than I am used to using with BB creams (two peas-sized dots instead of one), and that fact is what took it out of the running for a second trial.  It's good, but it's not the "best" for me. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review ! Sephora Colorful Palette in Matte Madness 15

I picked up Sephora's Colorful Palette in Matte Madness 15.
I ordered it online, and the eyeshadow compact came loose in the mailing box.  It arrived with the scratches on it that you can see below.  I tried it out for a week.
The eyeshadow applies well, with good coverage, and blends easily.  The colors are so much prettier on the eye than they are in the pan.  It also faded horribly off of the eyelid and the lower eyelid after a few hours, even with primer.  It did stay on the browbone.  I had to re-apply it twice in an 8-hour period.  This photo shows true-to-life color:
I've already returned this to Sephora.  I cannot recommend it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Beauty on the Cheap! Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel

Sooooo.  I've been hearing for a few months now about how Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel is identical to some high-end face primers.  For one thing, any time I hear a claim of "identical", I get a bit suspicious.  This sounds too good to be true... I could replace my Lancome La Base Pro, at $42 for .8 ounces, with Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel at $7.50 for 1.5 ounces?  Wait a second... almost twice as much product for more than 5 TIMES LESS the cost?
You gotta be kidding me.

So, because I'm skeptical, I did some research.

Here are the ingredients for La Base Pro:
  • Cyclopentasiloxane
  • Dimethicone Crosspolymer
 And here are the ingredients for Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel:
  • Cyclopentasiloxane
  • Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer
  • Silica
  • Tocopheryl Acetate
  • Trisiloxane

You read that correctly, La Base Pro has two ingredients, and Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel has the same first two ingredients.  The other three ingredients are silica (a mineral powder that absorbs moisture), tocopheryl acetate (a form of Vitamin E ), and trisiloxane (a silicone).  All of the ingredients are commonly used in cosmetics intended for the face.

As an aside, all of the ingredients in the Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel are also found in Smashbox's Photo Finish primer.  Smashbox's primer has additional ingredients.

Well, okey-dokey-hokey-pokey, let's give this a whirl... 

The visual difference between the two is La Base Pro (LBP) is clear and it starts to run as it warms up and turns liquidy, while Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel (MCR) is more opaque and  held its pea-sized dot shape.  MCR does not look cloudy or milky, rather, it looks like frosted glass; like clear sea glass. 
The tactile difference is very, very slight, and was only noticeable when rubbed between the fingers.  The LBP had a dry-oil, slightly dragging feel to it, while the MCR had no grip to it.  I had a friend compare the two, knowing what it was (basically, silicone), but not knowing which was which, and they could not tell any difference at all.

I put the same amount on each side of my face.  I applied them at the same time, on the same day, and rubbed it on my skin for the same amount of time.  Each side of my face received the same amount of powders and blush, and I even counted how many swirls I used applying each type of makeup, to ensure that every product was applied in the exact same way.  I'm all science-y that way.

I took a picture after each cosmetics application, just in case something applied strangely to one side and not the other, there would be a complete record of how it looked before and after.

Bare Face:
With LBP on the right, MCR on the left:

With foundation:
Contouring and concealing:



Eye makeup (you do not use face primer on your eyelids, so this really had no impact on the experiment:


LBP side:

MCR side:

Six hours later - no touchups of any kind except lip balm:

LBP side:

MCR side:

So, there it is.  There was a difference, which I believe is due to the silica in the MCR, that the MCR side had less oily-ness, and kept the pores marginally smoother (most likely due to the oil not being able to break the makeup away from the skin).

Now, the last problem is... Monistat is associated with yeast infections, plain and simple.  It's not like a lot of people are going to be going through your makeup bag, but it's still not necessarily a brand name you want anyone to see you in possession of, just for the embarrassment factor.  I have two solutions for you (aside from not giving a flying flip what anyone else thinks), 1 - you can wrap the tube in decorative tape, like one of the new patterned duct tapes.  It's easy and cheap.  Or, 2 - you can re-package the MCR into a different bottle.  I unscrewed the lid of my LBP bottle and re-filled it with MCR, and put the rest of the MCR tube away for when the bottle is empty.  Did I mention you get twice as much with the MCR?